Health data provides rich resource

  • March 8, 2013
Health data provides rich resource

Georgina Murphy is joint first author on a paper about one of the richest data sources on non infectious disease in Africa.

One of the richest data sources of non-communicable diseases in Africa has been published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

One of the first authors of the paper is Georgina Murphy [2009], who is doing her PhD in Public Health and Primary Care.

The paper, The general population cohort in rural south-western Uganda: a platform for communicable and non-communicable diseases, is an explanation of the study cohort which Georgina has been working on for her PhD and from which her PhD data comes.

The General Population Cohort was set up in 1989 to examine trends in HIV prevalence and incidence and their determinants in rural south-western Uganda. Recently, the research questions used in annual surveys have included the epidemiology and genetics of infectious and non-communicable diseases to address the shortage of data available on non-communicable diseases in Africa. 

Georgina first became involved in the study during her MPhil in Development Studies when she met her PhD supervisor Dr Manjinder Sandhu in the Department of Public Health, International Health Research Group. At that point Dr Sandhu was working on expanding the survey to include to new aspects on non-communicable diseases, hepatitis, and genomics.

Georgina started working full time on the GPC for her PhD, coordinating the translation of the general study design into detailed procedures and integrating new methodolgy into the existing framework of the GPC. She finalised the study documentation, for example, designing the study questionnaire and writing the standard operating procedures for all aspects of the study. She also worked on the logistics of the study, such as equipment selection and procurement and sample handling procedures.

In September of 2010 she went to Uganda and was based there for a year, living and working in the rural field station. From there, working with the study leader Gershim Asiki, she oversaw the preparations for the study, trained the survey staff on the new procedures and study methods, monitored study progress, designed and reviewed data management and worked to ensure high quality of data collection and study completion. 

Other Gates Cambridge Scholars are working on follow-up studies. Johanna Riha [2011] is working on embedding a trial on hypertension and salt consumption into the cohort and George S. Mgomella [2011] is working on a hepatitis C study within the cohort.

The International Journal of Epidemiology article was published in collaboration with the Medical Research Council/Uganda Virus Research Institute (MRC/UVRI) and ‘Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. The work is supported by MRC UK.

Picture credit: renjith krishnan and www.freedigitalphotos.net.

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